In Sri Lanka being entrepreneurial does not have a positive image. When young women and men consider their future career options, starting their own enterprise is far down on the list of preferred career choices. However, since the national labour market cannot absorb the many new entrants into the labour force each year, the result is that many young women and men become “entrepreneurs by necessity” rather than “entrepreneurs by choice”.
KAB was introduced in 2004 in an attempt to better prepare youth for the transition from school to work by also introducing students to the world of business and self-employment. A first Training of trainers (TOT) workshop was held with participants from vocational training institutions from the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam and Kurunegala. In 2004/05 KAB was tested in these institutions and was greatly appreciated by students, as well as teachers. The decision was made to introduce KAB into the general national curriculum of vocational training.
From 2005 onwards, additional national key facilitators, teachers and promoters have been trained each year in order to increase the outreach. Today, there are upwards of 150 teachers trained to teach KAB in educational and training institutions, and five national key facilitators who continue to train teachers and strengthen the capacities of vocational and technical training institutions to teach entrepreneurship education to their students. More than 5’000 students have been educated in entrepreneurship to date.
Five umbrella organizations in Sri Lanka have introduced KAB to their member institutions resulting in a variety of technical and vocational training institutions delivering KAB:the Vocational Training Authority (VTA), the National Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), the World University Service of Canada, the Clothing Industry Technology Institute (CITI), and the Korean Technical & Vocational Training.
A first national version of KAB was developed in Sinhalese and a Tamil edition will be available in 2009. The implementation of the KAB programme is being supported by the SIYB Association of Sri Lanka and the ILO executed Enter-Growth project supported by Sida.
Education & Training Institutions: 5 umbrella organisations and their members
Facilitators, Trainers and Promoters Trained: 152
Students /Trainees: 5,343 vocational trainees
Key Facilitators & Teacher Educators: 5 national key facilitators
Ms. Swarnamali Abeysuriya – SIYB Association Sri Lanka
Mr. Gemunu Wijesena – Enter-Growth Project Sri Lanka
* Note: all data above refers to the information available as of April, 2009. The figures can actually be slightly larger than presented.